Portland Community Chorus’s (PCC) heritage dates from the 1950s and has undergone several transformations in both style and size, as many talented musicians have taken turns directing the choir. From 2005 to 2020, Rob Westerberg directed PCC in a wide variety of music, from popular to classical and symphonic work. As interim director from October 2020 to June 2021, Camille Saucier saw us through the early pandemic period. Selected from a field of several candidates, Camille was welcomed as our new artistic director in July 2021. In fall 2021 Camille directed our first public concerts since the pandemic began. Her enthusiasm and skill has attracted many singers new to PCC.
Members of the chorus range in age from 19 to almost 90, and come from a wide variety of occupations and professions. Membership stands at approximately 120 auditioned singers.
PCC has formed the core of the PSO’s Magic of Christmas chorus since the inception of this wonderful PSO holiday tradition. Additionally, through its outreach programs, PCC has brought its enthusiasm for song to area assisted-living facilities/group homes/homeless shelters, as well as to special events such as naturalization ceremonies in Portland, Sea Dogs games, and “Shop for a Cause” days in the Old Port.
Over the years, the chorus has enjoyed many collaborative opportunities. In April 2006, PCC participated in “Voices of Hope”, a gala concert to benefit the Good Shepherd Food-Bank at Merrill Auditorium, along with Don Campbell, the Gorham Community Chorus and Musica de Filia. In 2010, PCC performed in the regional choral festival ChoirFest, singing with The Boy Singers of Maine, Royal River Chorus, Mt. Ararat Chamber Singers, USM Chorale, and Musica de Filia under the direction of internationally-recognized conductor/composer Rollo Dilworth. In April 2016, the choir savored the remarkable opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of Distinguished Concerts International’s Maine Festival Chorus, along with the Windham Chamber Singers, Oxford Hills Chamber Choir, Biddeford Singers, and York High School Chamber Singers, under the co-direction of Richard Nickerson and Rob Westerberg. In spring 2018, PCC collaborated with Voices in Harmony to present Paul Winter’s “Earth Mass” with the Paul Winter Consort at St. Luke’s Cathedral in a thrilling gala performance under the choral direction of Camille Saucier. In June 2022, many PCC members joined Nicolás Dosman, chorus master of the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s Magic of Christmas Chorus, to sing at Carnegie Hall with the National Opera Chorus.
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